He shoots, He scores! And he always scores.

Martin Smith’s Charlie Fry series

By Daisy-May Dowsing

 

Boy wonder Charlie Fry, is a series of children’s books that follow a young boy named Charlie Fry that has cystic fibrosis. This effects his lungs, and in turn effects his ability to run and play football, something he loves to do. Until one day, Charlie was hit by lighting, and magically got the ability to never miss a goal, no matter what! The Charlie Fry books (of which there are four so far) follow themes that help children understand cystic fibrosis, and how to deal with other disorders and problems in the process.

 

I got in touch with author Martin Smith, who created these Boy Wonder books, now a best seller series on Amazon since release, to talk about his life with cystic fibrosis, the inspiration for the books and much much more.  As of now, the Charlie Fry series has had over 30,000 sales on Amazon, as well as thousands on Kindle, after Smith only set a 300 sale goal- For some reason, children love the Charlie Fry story.”

 

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects more then 10,000 people in the UK. It is a condition you are born with, and is caused by a faulty gene. It can affect you in different ways, however one of the main ways it affects you is through your lungs. Mucus builds up in the lungs meaning reduced lung function. Martin Smith, and Charlie Fry have this form of cystic fibrosis.

 

Growing up with cystic fibrosis, and the effects it has on the body, didn’t stop Smith, as when he was told he couldn’t do full time work as a journalist anymore, he used the new found spare time to write books that could help younger generations understand the disorder. In his own words he was “fulfilling a lifetime ambition”. And it seemed that a lot of young people don’t know about the disorder at all, and through the books Smith has fulfilled a lifetime ambition as well as raise awareness about a life threating disorder in an uplifting and positive way.

 

“Considering the severity of CF, I tend to find few children know anything about it. I go into schools and when I asked who has heard of it, I am often greeted by a wall of silence. It is sad – and should not be like that. The Charlie Fry Series is designed to put CF on their radars.”

 

As for inspiration, the boy wonder Charlie Fry, was inspired by Smith and his own life with cystic fibrosis – the little footballer running around my mind for two decades was desperate to come out.” Smith has had problems with his lungs, just like Charlie, his whole life, having part of his lung removed when he was only two. But like Charlie, he persevered on, to do what he really wanted- for Charlie it was to professionally play football, for Smith it was getting his books published, and raise awareness for the cause in the process- “I want children with CF to be inspired. I want them to think they can do anything they want”.

 

Smith described his experience to me, living with cystic fibrosis: It is relentless. Medication, nebulizers, physio, exercise. It never stops and neither can you. It is tiring and, at times, you can despair but you can’t give in. I go to one of the country’s leading hospitals – the Royal Brompton in London – and they provide the foundation for allowing me to control my CF. I realise my lungs are precious – and I need to protect them as much as possible if I want to see my daughter grow up.”

 

Even though cystic fibrosis is the main theme in this series of books, Smith has written them in such a way that can help people with other disorders and problems, such as bullying, which is a large theme in the series, finding it way into all four books published so far (The Football Boy Wonder, The Demon Football Manager, The Magic Football Book, and The Football Spy). Smith stated that they are written to inspire and help children believe in themselves, regardless of the specific challenges they face.”

 

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Smith works closely with Cystic Fibrosis trust, a charity that raises awareness, raises money, and does amazing research for new and better treatments for people with the condition. Cystic fibrosis trust has a very close dialogue with Smith, he states I am, after all, one of the people they are trying to help.”

 

Although this book has had great success and raised a lot of awareness for the disorder, Smith did have his fair share of set backs and obstacles on his way to getting the book out there. He was turned down by multiple publishing houses, before deciding to self-publish through Amazon, since the book has become a success, publishing houses have contacted Smith about the books, but he stated I am quite happy with Amazon at the moment.” Smith was also set back by his Cystic Fibrosis, however he was determined for it not to stop his success, or his life.

 

Of course this success didn’t come without help from some credited people in Smiths Charlie Fry team, Alicia Babaee copy edits the books, Richard Wayte does the final proofreading, Brian Amey and Mark Newnham do some of the art work (including the covers). Smith also got some help from Stanwick Primary school, who helped create the character Toby Grace, who is a main character in book 4.

 

For now, only 4 books are a part of the series- but don’t worry! Another will be released by the end of summer 2017, but sadly this will be the last one in the series. Smith expressed the possibility of a kindle only spin-off series, however this is only an idea at this point. No matter what happens in the new and last book, it will still send a message to “inspire children to believe in themselves in future years”.

 

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An angry man:

As the tension built inside him, you could see his lips quiver with rage, choking back the salty tears that he could feel rise in his eyes. his manner became taller, broader, and clenched to the very bone. He paced back and forth around the room, mumbling to himself as he did. Then suddenly he stopped, he stared straight into her heart and burst forward into a string of a words that leaped down her throat and got a hold of her heart, squeezing it and loving it at the same time. His pain was shown through his blood shot eyes, his now weakened figure, and his tear stained lips. He was broken by the love that betrayed him yet continued to love, despite her actions.

 

An angry woman:

She had told him so many times before, she had repeated herself until her mouth was dry, and she went on and on and on, and he still wouldn’t listen to her words, all he listened to was the tone she always had leaving her mouth- anger. He was sick of her going through messages, asking him questions he didn’t think she needed to know the answer to, and repeating herself over and over. She yelled so much the roof could have been torn off by the sheer volume of her voice, she waved her hands about in his face to get his attention when he would daze off listening to the same thing he had heard multiple times before. He didn’t want to change, but she stayed every time he fell into bad habits.

 

 

Now why is an angry woman ‘bitter’? and an angry man ‘passionate’? They’re both in the same situation, they’re both in love with someone who isn’t faithful, loyal, or who isn’t going to change their ways, even if it means loosing the person they say they love. They both stay because their love for this one person means more to them than having to be without them no matter how much it hurts to stay. So why is it when a woman does the same as a man, in the same situation, with the same outcome- she is painted as the bad one, the bitter one, the one who is in the wrong, whereas he lays in the hearts of people around the world as the one who got hurt, and stayed in the name of love, countless times.

I Have

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Have you ever loved someone so much that the pure thought of loosing them makes it feel like someone has reached into your chest, pulled your heart from everything its attached too, and dropped it to the bottom of your stomach? To love someone so much that even when your right next to them holding them as close to you as you can, that you still miss them, like you still need to be closer but it isn’t possible to be. To want to go to bed every single night with them by your side, holding you and loving you with every fibre of their being; keeping you safe from the outside world and from everything you fear. To be able to role over in the middle of the night and know that they’re there right by your side, and to wake up in the morning, every morning, to their smile. The kind of smile that no matter how much you see it, it will still lighten your day every time; a smile of pure love and joy, with eyes that glisten to match, and that will look straight into your heart and soul as to say, ‘you’re the one, the only one’. Someone who is your biggest fan, even when you doubt yourself, who will never think of you any less than the best thing on earth, who stands by your side every step of the way- no matter how hard things may get at times. Someone who’s your best friend, who you want to spend your life with, and grow old with, and who every day you love even more than the last- though you never felt it possible.

 

I have.

Human existance

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Have you ever found yourself wondering why everything is called what it is? That mankind is called mankind because Adam was the first human on earth. That biology is called biology because it comes from the Greek word ‘bio’ meaning life- and is the study of living organisms.

So why is it called the human race? Maybe its because every person; black, white, big, small- is a part of the human species- a race of human beings- a minority. But maybe the human race is called the human race because we never stop racing to get to where we want to go.

We race to get older so that we can succeed, we race to get money so that we can buy everything we want, we race to find happiness. But by the time we find all this- its to late to enjoy what we have, or what we have become.

Have you ever stopped and looked around and really thought, ‘What am I rushing for’? To catch the last train? To have a child? To find love? When really all your doing is racing away your time, racing away all the moments in life that are what life really is about. Racing to the end- when the finish line is ultimately death.

If your lucky, most will grow up in the same stages; be born, grow, go to school, hit puberty, get a job, move out, find love, get married, have a child, have a career, retire and die in peace. But what happens in between all these stages- do you even remember? What happened was, all the moments and memories (that some would die for) slipped away even as they were created because all you where thinking was ‘what is the next step in the race’?

Think about education. It opens doors for you, gets you a successful job, and gives you knowledge. But when your sitting in a class room or in a lecture hall, have u ever thought about how this knowledge is surging through your brain, lighting up cells like colour explosions in your mind, or like electronic waves surfing through your head filling you with the knowledge that helps you grow and develop. People know that education is important, that it helps with the ‘next step’, but when this data enters your brain, no one thinks of the journey the words take to enrich your mind with the facts that shapes the very person you will become.

Now take love. If you’re lucky enough to find love, you follow a path to the day you get to spend the rest for your lives together. Find each other, get engaged, get married, buy a house, have children, retire and grow old. You spend your days wishing you could already be at the next stop in this path, that you may never take in memories you make along the way. You don’t appreciate the times you spend sitting around laughing together at ridiculous things, or just looking into each others eyes thinking that there is no better place to be, than in that moment. But you never know when that ‘time’ you spend together will be taken away from you. Your racing through the path you follow with love, but what if before you get to the end of the path, something happens and stops you on the way. What memories will you remember at the end?

We get told that we will be happy once we get all these things; all the success, all the money, the fame- but once we have it, are we really happy that we’ve wasted away our existence to get it, wasted it away so once we have it there is no time left to enjoy it. We walk, we jog, we run, racing towards the end of our lives, never stopping to take in the moments we ultimately leave behind in the end… maybe that’s why we call it the human race.

Left behind

Every person who enters your life, will ether leave a little piece of themselves in you, or will take a little piece of you with them when they leave.

In every relationship, you will have different feelings for each person- some you will love more than others, someone maybe the only person you could ever love: And when that person leaves and walks right out of your life, the love doesn’t go. You can be hurt by them leaving, you could be hurt by what they did to break you down or to ruin the relationship- but that love doesn’t disappear, it can be hidden under layers of anger and hatred, but its still there- aching in your heart until the day it stops beating.

You will always have feelings left behind after a relationship, feelings that could hold you back, stop you from finding the person you really should end up with- feelings that confuse and control you in everything you do after they leave. But those emotions; all the love, all the happiness, the sadness, the anger- everything that gets left behind when someone walks out of your life; its not there to control your future relationships, or even destroy them in the making. They’re there to learn from, they’re there so that the same mistakes don’t get made time and time again. So that you can find the person who actually will make you happy, not someone your convincing yourself you still want to be with because you once felt love for them. Your love for someone should be so indescribable and so irreplaceable that no one can take their place, and if someone can, maybe its just not meant to be (at least not right now).

Just remember, if you learn from them, then every heartbreak is just one step closer to happily ever after.

Im fine.

Im fine. two words that can have so many meanings to so many people.

I’m fine doesn’t always mean your actually fine. I’m fine can mean your angry at someone for what they’ve done but don’t want to show it, or want them to find what they’ve done wrong without having to explain it to them. It can mean your hurt and when you say your fine it means you will be fine but it will take time, or I’m fine can be a cry for help- help that your too scared to come right out and ask for but need more than anything in that moment.

Sometimes saying your fine is the only option you can find. you feel like if you say anything more you might get hurt or get let down or judged. Sometimes you just need someone else to get that when you say your fine, your really not. This is hard but if someone really knows you hope they will know that you need help or that somethings not right or that you need time. But you should never be afraid to say what your actually thinking- tell that boy/girl that you love them instead of sitting by and watching them love someone else, tell the person that hurt you that your angry and that they need to make things right or leave, ask for the help you need- you won’t be judged because your braver to come out and ask for the help than to go through it by yourself.

Sometimes when someone says their fine, they really are just fine. Not happy- not sad, just fine. But everyone deserves to be happy and that only happens when you speak up and have someone there to help you through it.

The pains of love

These days’ people say that love only causes pain. That you have to be a cold hearted, single, detached person to be truly happy. But this isn’t true.

Being in love doesn’t cause pain. Being in love is the single best feeling in the world, a feeling that no other can compare to and that is completely indescribable.

People who fall in love with someone, sometimes, unfortunately get hurt. But this isn’t because you’ve experienced love, its because you, or the person you love isn’t ready to feel the same way or isn’t ready to give you all you need and deserve. They may leave, they may cheat, make you lose trust- make you lose yourself. You may have to hear those soul crushing words ‘I don’t love you anymore’, ‘I never loved you to begin with’, or ‘I’m leaving’. But none of this pain is caused by opening your heart to love, its because it wasn’t the right time, or the right person, or because they’ve already given up on love. But when you find that person- that one person who you love and who loves you more than life itself- the person who makes you smile ear to ear, and laugh like it’s the first time again. The person who’s heart completely fits with yours, whose pure presence makes your heart skip a beat and your stomach get butterflies. The person you can’t bare to lose, let alone live a second without- don’t let them go, don’t hurt them and don’t give up on them. No matter what happened in the past- whose hurt you in the name of love- don’t give up on love because someone else has, and hurt you because of it.